As a man it's easy to feel like you're always blamed for violence against women. But aggressive behaviour is often something you learn in your family, friends or society growing up. These are ideas like - beating a woman is part of my culture, or a woman must obey her man. These ideas can lead to abuse. It's not enough to be innocent of these crimes. You’re a man and you can make a difference to protect the ones you love.
Brothers for Life campaign brings you these Rules for Brothers (adapted):
- Decide today NOT to look away, NOT to be a bystander and NOT to be silent. If you witness violence and abuse, report it to the nearest police station as soon as possible.
- If alcohol makes you more likely to commit violence, drink less so you don't become the person who hurts those they love.
- Be aware of the signs and symptoms of violence and abuse: bruises, scratches, cuts, and burns, as well as emotional signs such as withdrawal, anxiety, fear and sadness. Help women and children who you suspect are being abused.
- Help survivors to report abuse to the police. Also help them overcome pressure put on them by others or themselves so that they don't withdraw the case.
- Try to understand how your own attitudes and actions might be sexist or bring about violence.
- Be respectful to women and be a role model to younger boys in your community.
- Try to understand how your own ideas about manhood may actually lead you to harm your girlfriend by being violent.
- Understand that violence is against the law and you may end up with a criminal record at a young age - so avoid violence in any shape or form.
Guys need to stand up to other men or boys who abuse women and girls. Decide today NOT to look away, NOT to be a bystander and take action.